Wrexham claimed all three points in handsome style against Bromley, as Luke Young’s late volley gifted Wrexham their first league win under Keates this season.
The game was uneventful in terms of chances, but Young decided to volley one from the edge of the box off a corner, right into the upper stanchions of the goal, securing a much needed three points against the league leaders.
Ryan Huddart had made some excellent last gasp saves beforehand, to keep Paul Rutherford and Bobby Grant out, who were both through on goal either side of half time.
Wrexham made two changes to the side which lost 1-0 away at Torquay United. Michael Chambers and Mark Harris made way for Shaun Pearson and Ben Tollitt. Pearson returned after a spell out with a hamstring injury.
Wrexham were still surging for their first league win under Dean Keates, after two difficult away loses to Dagenham & Redbridge and Torquay United, which saw them begin this game in 22nd position in the relegation zone.
Bromley began the game sitting pretty at the top of the table, as Wrexham faced tough opposition in Michael Cheek and Reeco Hackett, who both had eight goals each.
The first five minutes indicated to us why the Ravens were top of the league, as they showed some fluid football in the Wrexham half, requiring the Reds to be alert from the get go.
Normally, Wrexham display a dominant performance in regards to possession based football, but the Lillywhites were not afraid of the Racecourse and aimed to dictate play.
Billy Bingham saw the ball sit up for him on the edge of the Wrexham box and fizzed a volley towards Rob Lainton’s left in goal. However, the Wrexham keeper was on hand to save the ball smartly in the 11th minute.
The Reds were starting to calm down by the 15th minute and were starting to play their football. Ben Tollitt provided some surging runs, but failed to play in supporting runners.
Bromley’s creative midfielders were trying to find gaps to pass into, but the ‘Red Wall’ wasn’t showing any weaknesses as of yet. Jack Holland and Chris Bush were forced to hoof the ball long, due to the Wrexham pressing, but the heads of Jake Lawlor and Pearson remained strong.
Luke Coulson provided an agonising low cross from right wing in the 26th minute, which somehow passed the Bromley attack for a goal-kick.
Young had his first set-piece opportunity in the 29th minute, which saw captain Pearson rise highest with a bullet header, forcing Huddart to save low to his left for a corner.
Play had slowed up in the next ten minutes, but Wrexham were starting to amount some solid attacks, but failing to test Huddart in goal.
Wrexham were playing with fire in the 42nd minute, letting the ball roll through to Lainton at the side of his box. The keeper was able to smother the ball, after Cheek’s toe got to it first.
A wicked ball in the 44th by Grant saw Rutherford fly at the back post. The ball seemed to bounce off his knees, but straight at Huddart, who made himself big in goal.
The scores were level at half-time, with both sides failing to look threatening at all.
The Ravens started the better side, as some slick play in the 49th minute enabled Joe Kizzi to run through on the by-line. His cross was thundered against the crossbar, but luckily for the Reds, Cheek had fouled James Horsfield in the box.
Bromley made the first substitution of the evening, as Adam Mekki cam on for Michael Klass in the 56th minute, in order to break the deadlock.
Mekki had an instant impact, as he won a second ball on the edge of the Wrexham box. However, his dipping half-volley in the 59th minute didn’t drop enough and went wide of the post.
After a difficult time out on the pitch, Tollitt was replaced by Mark Harris in the 62nd minute.
Mekki’s quick feet were causing Wrexham problems again, as he tried a thumping effort in the 66th minute, which flew just wide of the post following a slight deflection. Holland tried to scoop the ball back in from the failed resulting corner, but the ball dropped harmlessly onto the roof of the net.
Wrexham finally had their chance in the 72nd minute, as some neat play between Rutherford and Harris put Grant through on goal. His lacklustre finish was saved by the big right hand of Huddart, who was keen on keeping a clean sheet.
Rutherford found some room in the 73rd on the edge of the box, but his attempt was drilled straight at the Bromley keeper.
The Lillywhites hit back with 76 minutes on the clock, as Cheek’s dangerous ball into the box was cleared well by Jennings. Bingham won the second ball and thumped an effort, but it sailed just wide once more.
It looked like Wrexham secured all three points and goal of the month as Young fired in a volley into the top corner with 12 minutes left to play. A Wrexham corner was headed back onto the edge of the box and Young handsomely swung his boot at the ball and watched it as it nestled into the upper echelons of the goal.
Referee Andrew Miller seemed inclined to keep his notebook clean, after some heavy challenges had been put in this evening by the away side.
Horsfield went down injured in the 84th minute, requiring a stretcher. After a three minute stoppage in play, Mark Carrington came on to keep Wrexham’s lead.
Wrexham were pinned back in the final stages of the game, facing some lofting balls from the visitors.
Bromley had a header late on from a free-kick, but it bounced straight into Lainton’s hands, but the nervous sparks were flying at the start of added time.
Kizzi caused even more drama three minutes into added time, as his header flashed across the face of goal, but thankfully out for a goal-kick.
Wrexham: (4-3-3): Lainton (GK), Jennings, Lawlor, Pearson ©, Horsfield (Carrington 87’), Young, Summerfield, Wright, Rutherford, Grant, Tollitt (Harris 62’).
Subs not used: Dibble (GK), Redmond, Oswell.
Bromley: (4-3-3): Huddart (GK), Kizzi, Holland ©, Bush, Wood, Bingham, Raymond (Clifton 80’), Klass (Mekki 56’), Hackett (Edmonds-Green 78’), Coulson, Cheek.
Subs not used: Najia (GK), Rees.
Referee: Andrew Miller
Wrexham Bookings: None
Bromley Bookings: None
Man of the Match: Paul Rutherford